World Diamond Council’s (WDC) Acting President Stephane Fischler; and Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda, recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with key stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP).
In the course of their visit, Fischler and Kaninda met with the Chair of the Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production (WGAAP); the Minister of Mines; the Center for Evaluation, Expertise and Certification (CEEC) Chair, Deputy Chair and team members; the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI); DRC civil society members and mining companies, cooperatives and exporters.
Meetings were also separately convened with the ambassadors from the European Union and Canada. Fischler and Kaninda also visited embassies of the countries involved in KP, the Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank and UN Women.
“We personally met with parties involved in the Kimberley Process because it is crucial to have these interpersonal interactions and hear the opinions of stakeholders as we work through the KP reform process,” Fischler said. “It is a process that requires time and discussions with both those that are impacted, and those that implement the Kimberley Process in their countries. These productive discussions help us identify where progress is being made and where there remains room for necessary improvement.”
In a statement, WDC said the meetings primarily focused on two topics: the support from the DRC in regard to KP reform and establishment of the Permanent Secretariat, and the process of formalisation, registration and traceability of the artisanal miners in the DRC.
“All the local actors praised the very successful formalisation drive by the DDI that has resulted in 200,000 artisanal miners so far being registered with the support of the Ministry of Mines,” WDC stated.
The discussions with the various stakeholders brought forth both, existing challenges and improvements that could be implemented.
“A new mining code, ‘Code Minier’, has been enacted in the country and greatly improved provisions in favour of artisanal mining,” WDC noted. “The main challenge being tackled now is improving working conditions for the artisans within traceability standards as proposed by the DDI and involving the miners’ communities in further discussions on the future of diamond mining in the DRC.”
“The DRC government and mining agencies recognise the importance of working to formalise the artisanal miners and expressed commitment to improving traceability, for which their efforts merit recognition,” Kaninda said. “Our discussions were extremely valuable and we look forward to continue building these relationships and participating in similar meetings with stakeholders in Angola later this summer.”
Pic Cap: (from left to right): Paul Mabolia (World Bank), Didace Kinwani (negotiant), Marie-Chantal Kaninda (executive director of the WDC), Pepe Kinwani (negotiant), Stephane Fischler (acting president of the WDC).
News Source : gjepc.org